Thunderbolt Multi Port Hub

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Woodcrest64, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Woodcrest64 macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    Considering that the Macbook Pro has ONE thunderbolt port and if you were to hook that up to a non-thunderbolt display your thunderbolt port iwould be taken up.

    Do you think we will see some kind of Thunderbolt hub to plug in multiple devices this year?
  2. robothero macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2009
    This is the one thing keeping me from ditching my desktop for a MBP. Once they add one of these, I'm set!
  3. superericla macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2010
    Thunderbolt isn't meant to be in a hub, but rather daisy chained. To attach the non-thunderbolt display, hook it up at the end of the daisy chain.
  4. thelead macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2010
    While true, a hub without the display (aka the thunderbolt display) would be a great option to have. You could leave firewire, usb, ethernet, and a cheaper display plugged into a single hub that you wouldn't be able to daisy chain in the first place.
  5. kustardking macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2008
    New York
    Point me to documentation that says this, because this smacks of I-see-on-Mac-and-expand-to-fill-all-mental-space. The Thunderbolt specification doesn't make any such restriction, and neither does the underlying PCIE topology.

    Instead, say, "Apple's esthetic is no clutter/choice is confusing, so they chose for you by implementing Thunderbolt in a serial fashion."

    Of course, I'm glad to be wrong if you can show a statement that says Thunderbolt is daisy-chain only.
  6. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    While I've not seen anything that says there aren't other ways to configure Thunderbolt, I've only ever seen it shown and/or described in a daisy chain fashion.

    Intel's demo video showing (only) daisy chained devices:
  7. 187 macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2011
    The Apple Thunderbolt Display is a Thunderbolt hub. It lacks USB 3.0 and eSATA, but does a pretty good job with 2x FW800 and an additional Thunderbolt port. It also happens to have a built-in 27" IPS panel.
  8. mike95, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2011

    mike95 macrumors member

    Jul 8, 2008
    Belkin just announced a thunderbolt hub specifically for your scenario and many others as well. Search for "Thunderbolt Hub Arrived" to find multiple reviews of this hub with pictures.
  9. alFR, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2011

    alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Maybe you could link to the MR story about the same thing here.
  10. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    i am really excited about the sudden surge in TB news + products annoucements -

    I think i will wait till apple start shipping out ivy bridge hardware, and have native USB3 support.

    Currently my x3 usb2, esata express-card, Fw800 ports are limiting my expansion needs - a TB hub could ultimately replace all this clutter.

    I have a gut feeling that the ATD will get usb-3 in the next re-fresh - so i think i will spend my $$$ on an iPhone 5 and iPad-3 un-till next year!

    P.S. a 30" ATD would be very much alluring :D
  11. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    Functionally, that hub is exactly what those with good monitors need. Too bad it's so freaking ugly. It looks like an iTaco.
  12. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Nov 3, 2009
    Its not like Belkin and the ACD display will be the only Thunderbolt peripherals available. Plenty more are expected.
  13. hefeglass macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    i love it when people who don't understand a certain technology are having "gut feelings" about it somehow including usb3..


    at least on a TB display...the bandwidth used for usb3 would take up half of the total bandwidth of a tb connection...which is why they went with usb2.

    The possibility of usb3 on macs in the future will only exist if apple incorporates it (unlikely) or if some company releases a TB to usb3 converter.. tb could support 2 usb3 channels at full speed. Daisy chaining would of course allow more.
  14. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    While you are correct, most people (myself included) don't have enough money to buy that display unless apple somehow does a christmas 50% reduction (one can dream) I don't think many people will be able to afford it.
  15. kustardking macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2008
    New York
    At the same time, isn't it the same price as would be for a standard cinema display of the same size? That is, if it didn't have the ports, $1000 for the 27" monitor would be expected. The same number of people that would be buying a 27" monitor are now getting ports in addition. I ordered mine on July 31st, and it still hasn't shipped despite others' being shipped last week. I think that means there is demand for the monitor just like any other time.
  16. kustardking macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2008
    New York
    Ports always oversubscribe their shared route to the CPU, so that argument against USB 3 doesn't stand. Furthermore, 4 x USB 2 + 1 x Firewire 800 + 1 x GbE = about 4Gb of bandwidth at full saturation. That's 6Gb to play with, and 7Gb if you replace two of the USB 2 ports. Though the USB 3 controller problem still stands, your bandwidth argument does not.
  17. zoltronix macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2012
    You are correct Thunderbolt can be configured in many ways, as below.

    The Thunderbolt protocol physical layer is responsible for link maintenance including hot-plug detection, and data encoding to provide highly efficient data transfer. The physical layer has been designed to introduce very minimal overhead and provides full 10Gbps of usable bandwidth to the upper layers.

    The heart of the Thunderbolt protocol architecture is the transport layer. Some of the key innovations introduced by the transport layer include:

    •A high-performance, low-power, switching architecture.
    •A highly efficient, low-overhead packet format with flexible QoS support that allows multiplexing of bursty PCI Express transactions with isochronous DisplayPort communication on the same link.
    •A symmetric architecture that supports flexible topologies (star, tree, daisy chaining, etc.) and enables peer-to-peer communication (via software) between devices.
    •A novel time synchronization protocol that allows all the Thunderbolt products connected in a domain to synchronize their time within 8ns of each other.
    DisplayPort and PCI Express protocols are mapped onto the transport layer. The mapping function is provided by a protocol adapter which is responsible for efficient encapsulation of the mapped protocol information into transport layer packets. Mapped protocol packets between a source device and a desti- nation device may be routed over a path that may cross multiple Thunderbolt controllers. At the destination device, a protocol adapter recreates the mapped protocol in a way that is indistinguishable from what was received by the source device.

    Information taken from
  18. rpg51 macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2012
    I wish I could get a 21.5 inch TB Display

    This would be perfect for our main desktop computer. Doesnt' seem likely so I am considering a iMac 21.5.

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